AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers will hold the key against New Zealand in the ODI series.IANS

After an entertaining two-match T20 series between South Africa and New Zealand finished in a draw, 1-1, the action moves to the fifty overs format, which promises to be an entertaining one with a number of high-profile players on both the sides.

South Africa will be buoyant with the return of AB de Villiers after missing their last ODI series against Bangladesh, which South Africa lost 2-1. Hence, the South Africans will be more than eager to put up an improved performance in the three-match ODI series, which starts on 19 August at SuperSport Park in Centurion.

New Zealand will come into the ODI series as a confident bunch after they beat Zimbabwe 2-1 after a shocking defeat in the first ODI.

However, New Zealand are aware of the huge task ahead of them in the ODI series against South Africa, who are a strong side at home. With players such as de Villiers, David Miller, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, they have a dangerous batting unit, capable to destroy any bowling attack in the world.

The Black Caps bowlers, which include Adam Milne and Mitchell McClenaghan amongst others, will have an integral part in the team with the white ball. If the New Zealand bowlers stray in their line or length, the Proteas batsman are going to take full advantage.

But, one should not undermine the quality of the New Zealand team, who also possess some fine batsmen in their line-up. Players such as Grant Elliot, Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson, who have been in excellent form in their last series against Zimbabwe, will play a key role if they are to put up a big contest against the home team.

New Zealand are going to miss the key services of Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum for the ODI series. It is a major concern as the Black Caps resembles a different unit with McCullum at the top smashing the cover off the ball and Taylor with his experience in the middle order. JP Duminy and Morne Morkel will both be unavailable for South Africa.

The three match ODI series will prove to be a huge test of character for New Zealand as Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander will also join the team. 

South Africa might also be eying the series to take revenge against New Zealand, who knocked them out of the 2015 World Cup after an entertaining semi final encounter. If the match produces similar excitement to the world cup game, cricket fans are going to be entertained to the max.

Team Squads

South Africa: AB de Villiers (c), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Aaron Phangiso, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, Morne van Wyk (wk), David Wiese.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Doug Bracewell, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wk), Ish Sodhi, Ben Wheeler

South Africa vs New Zealand 1st ODI Schedule

Date – 19 August 2015

Time - 12:30pm local time (4pm IST)

Venue - SuperSport Park in Centurion.